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AlexS

Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian - any opinions / advice?

26 posts in this topic

Hi everyone and a very Happy New Year!

I hope I could get some opinions and/or advice on buying my first proper telescope. I am new to Stargazers Lounge and relatively new to astronomy. I use to have simple Tasco refracting telelscope when I very young...saw the moon and that's about it! Now a lot older, I have more knowledge about physics & astronomy and have much more of an appreciation for everything around us.

For my first telescope, I am very interested in the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian. I have read lots of very helpful posts and reviews online about this particular telescope especially given the price.

I am reaching the point of purchasing one of these within the next week or so, and I was just wondering if anyone had other suggestions for my first scope.

My budget is £300 max., and I want a good all rounder scope for viewing mainly. Although, I would like to start on some planetary astrophotography with my DSLR soon after. However viewing is my main priority because if I decide astrophotography is for me, I would prefer to buy a proper setup with a motorised EQ mount in the future when I know its something I enjoy. Also, the size of the 8inch Dob is not an issue for me.

I would be so grateful if anyone has any opinions about my choice of the skyliner 200P, or if other alternatives are out there which are worth thinking about, considering my needs and budget.

Also, do many stores online have these telescopes actually in stock ready to dispatch? I called one online retailer and they said they get them from a distributor so delivery will take longer. I was just wondering if anyone knew if FLO usually have them in stock or if there is a longer delivery for this telescope.

Anyway, sorry for such a long post, I am new to this so please forgive me!

Thank you, and happy new year to all!

Alex.

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Hello Alex and welcome to SGL.

You have made a good choice as the 200P Dobsonian is a good scope giving excellent deep sky and planetary performance.

It is ideal for visual Astronomy but does not track so it's no good for Astrophotography HOWEVER the optical tube can be taken off the Dobsonian mount and you can attach it to an equatorial mount if you wish - as i did .......

post-13701-133877711236_thumb.jpg

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Hello Alex and welcome to SGL.

You have made a good choice as the 200P Dobsonian is a good scope giving excellent deep sky and planetary performance.

It is ideal for visual Astronomy but does not track so it's no good for Astrophotography HOWEVER the optical tube can be taken off the Dobsonian mount and you can attach it to an equatorial mount if you wish - as i did .......

Thanks for the advice. That looks great! Atleast there are always options...the more photos I see of this telescope, the more I want it! :p

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Given that the 8" Skywatcher Dob is the nations favourite scope.

No need to say much else.

Regards Steve

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Do it :p

FLO will be open Tuesday morning I think, drop them an email via the helpdesk (don't call, bless em they never have time to get to the phone!) and someone will get back to you pretty promptly.

Edited by Stephen

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Hi - I bought a Skyliner 200P last week and I couldn't be happier with it. The first thing I saw, on a cloudy night, was Jupiter and even with the standard 25mm ep, was able to make out a couple of Jupiter's bands and a couple of its moons. I've got a 2x Barlow on order and am looking at a couple of other ep's too - what you get as standard is a good start but I suspect you'll want to add to the collection quite quickly.

As has been mentioned, it won't track for you but the mount is so good that it allows fine movement meaning that once you get used to the light touch that's required, you'll be able to keep things in view without too much bother. If taking pictures is what you want to do, I'd definitely recommend re-mounting it.

On that note, and this may sound daft, but one thing to bear in mind and something I hadn't given any thought to at all at the time but I'd suggest a small chair as I ended up with a stiff back after spending so much time looking through the scope in an unnatural position. It's another good reason to remount it if you ask me but then maybe the Explorer 200P is worth considering (a little over your budget but you get a good mount (non-tracking although you can get that) and more ep's as standard).

Finally, I've ordered a right-angle finderscope...

HTH

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I had one and its a fantastic scope... Get it now.. FLO should have them ready to ship out

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I think you know what i'm going to say!!:p:D

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Get your order in asap - there's a new series of Stargazing Live in a couple of weeks and the interest that generated cleared most Astronomy retailers out!

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It is ideal for visual Astronomy but does not track so it's no good for Astrophotography HOWEVER the optical tube can be taken off the Dobsonian mount and you can attach it to an equatorial mount if you wish - as i did .......

Wow, what mount is that?

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I second that, what mount is that and are they Skywatcher specific? also how much are they, I have the smaller 150p dob but an eq mount for pics would be a thing I would like to do.

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Thanks for all the replies everyone! looks like this 8inch dob will be the one for me!

I also am looking to get a decent wide angle eyepiece for max. £70

any suggestions or recommendations? :p

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Thanks for all the replies everyone! looks like this 8inch dob will be the one for me!

I also am looking to get a decent wide angle eyepiece for max. £70

any suggestions or recommendations? :p

Sorry, i think I should have asked my last question in the 'eyepieces' discussion section. I have just made a post on there.

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so is that pretty much an eq5 head? on the vixen site it says it has a capacity of 22lbs, roughly 10kg

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Hi

Good choice of scope. It hits the sweet spot between aperture and portability. Your budget will cover a new one although I picked mine up second-hand for £175 back in September 2011 and haven't regretted my choice. You could spend the cash saved on the eyepiece and other accessories.

HTH!

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Thanks for all the advice everyone. I have now ordered the Skyliner 200P which should be with me by next week!

As you can imagine...I can't wait!

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so is that pretty much an eq5 head? on the vixen site it says it has a capacity of 22lbs, roughly 10kg

While they look similar, the Vixen mounts are a step up from the SkyWatcher EQ's. The SkyWatchers are the budget copies (and I love them). You'd probably need the HEQ5 to get similar performance.

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Thanks for all the advice everyone. I have now ordered the Skyliner 200P which should be with me by next week!

As you can imagine...I can't wait!

Good choice. The 200P Dob is a wonderful first scope and as close to a perfect 'allrounder' as you are likely find.

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I know this telescope is talked about alot but I though I'd update for those who are interested.

My telescope arrived well packaged and on time by FLO. I heard many great things about FLO and can honestly say they are as good as people say they are. The helpdesk was extremely quick and helpful. I have to give special thanks to Martin for his excellent customer service.

I managed to assemble the telescope with relative ease and the telescope seemed to be well collimated out of the box.

Surprisingly, on that night there were clear skies! so I first aimed at Jupiter and was surprised at the detail I could see with the standard eyepieces. I then turned to saturn which showed its rings clearly on the 10mm EP. The 25mm is much better than the 10mm, however the 10mm does still give you great views on some occasions. They are definately good enough to start with.

I then used the 'Turn Left at Orion' book to look at the Orion nebula and that is as far as I have got in this new hobby of mine!

I'd have to say I am very pleased with this telescope. As a first 'real' telelscope, it has given everything I expected it to and I would definately recommend it for anyone looking for their first proper telescope.

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I have one of these as well and I am considering getting a solar filter. I just wanted to ask if the AstroZap Baader Solar Filter or 8 inch scopes would it on this?

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Also I am really intrigued by the photo of the VIXEN GREAT POLARIS "GPDX" GERMAN EQUATORIAL MOUNT, any idea where I might be able to get one of those?

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jupiter23jan13.jpgHi i have the 200p skyliner dob on the wooden base stand,

I didnt buy this with astrophotography in mind as there is no motor, however i had some fun taking pictures of saturn and jupiter last night, just holding up my iphone to the eyepiece

saturn24jan132.jpg

Is there any way its possible to take some better photos without a motor mount, im not expecting amazing results but would just like to take some pictures of the planets and the moon .

I have a xbox webcam which i never use, and i have 3 eyepieces the stock 10 and 25 and a celestron x cel lx 7mm.

any cheap ways i may be able to get up and running? is it possible ?

thanks

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